Reading Aloud Without Squashing the Life out of Your Lively Child

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How to Read Aloud without Squashing the Life Out of Your Lively Child • homeschool reading tips

He bounces out of bed like a pogo stick, dashes outside to jump on the trampoline, eats breakfast while hanging upside down from the bar stool asking a minimum of 523 questions, and then—just when you think he’s worn out—he races back to his room to get his dinosaur so he can show you just how loud he can roar. And it’s only 6:30 a.m.

Did I just describe your kid?  If so, you’ve probably thought, “I’d love to use a literature-based curriculum, but my child would never be able to sit and listen during the read alouds.”

After all, you’ve already sat down with him several times and tried picture books.  How will he ever be able to listen to chapter books? You might be surprised. You can read aloud without squashing the life out of your lively child.

A few tweaks to your read aloud time will set your lively child on the right path for developing a love for read aloud time.

1. Keep Their Hands Busy

This is one of my top tips because my kids love to draw and create. Read aloud time is their favorite time to practice their craft. Handiwork keeps hands busy while minds can stay focused. Sewing, crafting, crochet, and building with blocks are all great options.

2. Engage Them in Discussion

Kids will listen much more intently if they know that we genuinely value their opinion on a topic. Look for opportunities to pause your reading and discuss themes and ideas raised in the book. Your Sonlight Instructor’s Guides provide an excellent jumping board of discussion starters for each read aloud.

3. Create an Atmosphere

In the winter, gather in the living room. Pile up on the couch with blankets and light a few candles.  Maybe offer your children a special read aloud tea or hot chocolate. In the summertime, grab a quilt and some lemonade and take your read aloud outside. Cultivate an atmosphere that connects reading aloud to warm, family memories.

4. Break it Up

Few people can sit still for two hours, listening to a parade of books. So spread it out. Take care of your longest Read-Aloud in the morning when attention spans are longest and then sprinkle in the rest through the day. Snack times, lunch time, and bedtime provide a captive audience when kids are more prone to listen.

5. Increase Reading Time Gradually

Your first read aloud session won’t be perfect, so don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting it to be. Plan for a short session the first time and increase it gradually as the weeks go by. By the end of the year, you’ll be surprised by how long they can listen to great books.

You probably just glanced out the window to find that your sweet, active child is hanging from a tree limb outside, right? Don’t sweat it mama. Good books fuel imagination and play for lively children every day.  Sometimes it just takes a little training and some outside-of-the-box thinking to coax your energetic boys and girls into the land of literature.

Ready to explore an educational option that will work for your lively kids? Go to SmoothCourse and get started today.

How to Read Aloud without Squashing the Life Out of Your Lively Child • homeschool reading tips
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Deana Wood

About Deana Wood

Deana Wood is a homeschooling mother of four precious children, ages 10, 9, 6, and 4. She has been married to Tim, a plumber and Children’s Pastor, for 13 years. She blogs about homeschooling, adoption, and family life at Redeeming the Days Blog.  
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One Response to Reading Aloud Without Squashing the Life out of Your Lively Child

  1. Bekki says:

    We have done all kinds of things to engage our busy little boys (they are not so little anymore...), But teaching our youngest to crochet and knit was an absolute necessity for quiet time. He drove everyone insane with his need for movement.

    He built legos and lincoln logs when he was little-little, but it was too noisy for the other boys.

    We needed quiet- so I taught him the chain stitch. He ramped it up "boy style" and immediately went to work making the world's longest chain. After he got to about 100 feet, I taught him how to add on a row. It worked wonders for him...

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